Connect with us


FAO projects food import bill to reach record-high $1.75tr in 2021



The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday the global food trade is poised to hit a record high in both volume and value in 2021.

In a new Food Outlook released published on its website, the United Nations agency said while the global food trade has shown remarkable resilience to disruptions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly rising prices of food commodities and energy pose significant challenges for poorer countries and consumers, who spend large shares of their incomes on necessities.

Issued twice a year, Food Outlook offers FAO’s reviews of market supply and demand trends for the world’s major foodstuffs, including cereals, vegetable oils, sugar, meat, and dairy and fish.

It also looks at trends in futures markets and shipping costs for food commodities.

The agency predicted the global food import bill could reach an all-time high in 2021 and surpass $1.75 trillion, a 14 percent increase from the 2020 figure and 12 percent higher than the earlier forecast made in June.

According to FAO, the increase was driven by higher price levels of internationally traded food commodities and a threefold increase in freight costs.

The report read: “Developing regions account for 40 percent of the total and their aggregate food import bill is expected to rise by 20 percent compared to 2020.

“Even faster growth is expected for Low-Income Food Deficit Countries, due to higher costs more than higher food import volumes.

“Developing regions are facing sharp increases in the prices of basic staples such as cereals, animal fats, vegetable oils, and oilseeds, while high-value foods, such as fruits and vegetables, fishery products, and beverages are driving the bulk of the increases for developed regions.”

“World output prospects for major cereals remain robust, with record harvests expected in 2021 for maize and rice, although cereals utilization for human consumption and animal feed is forecast to grow faster.

READ ALSO: Food prices reach new peak since July 2011 —FAO

“Following a tight balance in 2020/21, preliminary forecasts for the 2021/22 season point to some improvements in the overall supply situation for oilseeds and derived products, but their respective end-season stocks could remain below average.

“World sugar output in 2021/22 is forecast to rebound after three years of contraction but still fall short of global consumption. The world sugar trade is foreseen to decline slightly because of reduced availabilities in key exporting countries and rising prices.

“World meat production in 2021 is forecast to expand, principally triggered by a swift output rebound in China, especially pig meat. Notable demand-led output expansions are expected in all major producing regions, except Oceania. A growth slowdown in the global meat trade is likely due to anticipated declines in imports by leading importing regions, especially Asia and Europe.

“Global milk production in 2021 is forecast to expand, with anticipated increases in all major producing regions, led by Asia and North America. Global trade in dairy products is also forecast to expand, amid the ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19 market disruptions. However, in recent months, the import growth rate has slowed down due to rising domestic production and sluggish consumer demand.”

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nine + one =